Features — 13 October 2018
Musings by the Curious Non-Conformist

I’ll take the opportunity this space offers me with being a time capsule for my thoughts, feelings, and opinions in this, the early stage of my third decade of life. I’ve been getting the vibe and even some commentary on my disposition, the way I carry myself, and my demeanor. Now, I’ve been known to not hold any bars with my opinions in any fora. This is not because my immediate mission is to be belligerent and bombastic, but because I honestly feel that some people have a really skewed perspective on the realities that impact people, especially in regards to young people of color. If I am accused of some sarcasm I’ll take those charges but still reluctant to make apologies for it. It could also be that they are honestly ignorant to said reality, but when duty bearers are clueless or choose to remain as such then that leaves us with more questions than answers. As such, I’ve gained the reputation of being a bit more of the outspoken attendee at meetings, to say the least. A trouble-maker.

I’ve been told things like, “You need to tone it down,” or “Aren’t you scared to be so outspoken?” or “Just be careful.” All these conversations confused me at first, because in my line of work I’ve always been taught to say what I feel because “my voice matters.” Not only that, though, that’s how I was raised and also my personality thankfully facilitates.

Right now, I’m sitting and thinking why are people, some who have counseled me, essentially telling me to shut up? They are telling me to be nicer, to dress a little more like the politician I want to be, to not ask difficult questions. Well, I am now reporting that I am not one to conform to anyone else’s view on what I should be and act like. I’m a bit too passionate about life and about the quality of life of my fellow human being to not ask questions and do so in a way that’ll keep you on your toes.

My take-home message for my readers this week: ask tough questions as if your life depends on it. Yes, it’s important to be nice but be firm in your position and be persistent in your quest for knowledge. Own and occupy spaces that allow you to inquire. Never lose your curiosity or cede your right to ask questions of those who should have the answers, whether that be your parent, your teacher, your supervisor, your area representative or your Prime Minister. Remember that revolutions are seismic, quiet and ever shifting. Pay attention to those vibrations.
Stay Curious.

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Deshawn Swasey

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